MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
District president of the National Democratic Tarai Madhes Organisation in Rautahat, Shailendra Singh, is busy shuttling back and forth between Kathmandu and the Tarai these days. The organisation is active as a royalist front in the Madhes. "We are preparing to rectify past mistakes and move forward," Singh says.
On 27 August, former crown prince Paras Shah threw a party at Nirmal Niwas for over 100 leaders from Sunsari to Saptari, who are affiliated with the organisation. Suresh Yadav of Siraha, Janak Lal Sah of Parsa, Dinesh Mahato, Shailendra Singh and Ajit Singh of Rautahat district had one-on-one conversations with the former crown prince.
Manmohan Shamsher Rana, who defected from RPP(N) and opened the Patriotic Nationalist People Unity Party, said that since the CA had failed to deliver a new constitution on time, efforts are being made to find a place for a 'worthy monarchy' in the new constitution through an all-party round table conference.
MJF president Upendra Yadav has been invited to make the proposed conference a success. Rana said that other political parties could not be contacted, as they are engaged in the formation of the government. "We have already had informal talks with Yadav regarding the need for an all-party round table conference to draft a new constitution, as the extended term of the CA is illegal," he said.
According to Mohan Shrestha, who heads the publication and publicity department of RPP(N), Lal Krishna Advani and other top Indian leaders will participate in a chariot procession that begins on 10 December. They have already arranged Rs 10 million for the procession, which will begin from Janakpur, go all the way to Lumbini, and conclude in Pashupati.
Followers of former King Gyanendra are being mobilised in the Madhes to exert pressure on political parties to accept a Hindu monarchy. Following frequent visits to the Madhes by RPP(N) president Kamal Thapa, Gyanendra visited Janakpur on 24 March and said he did not think that the monarchy was obsolete. He also visited Nepalganj on 23 May and Birganj on 16 June.
The former crown prince then visited Bara, Parsa and Birganj. Sources say Gyanendra is scheduled to make a five-day visit to the Madhes in mid-September.
The royalists have concluded that the Maoist and Madhesi parties are not against the palace. "There is no alternative to working together, for above all, we are for nationality and not for power," said Krishna Mahato. President of the National Democratic Tarai Madhes Organisation.